DIY LED lighting for a 55gal long planted Tang tank
Planted Tank Forums
Your Tanks Image Hosting *Tank Tracker * Plant Profiles Fish Profiles Planted Tank Guide Photo Gallery Articles

Go Back   The Planted Tank Forum > Specific Aspects of a Planted Tank > DIY

Thread Tools Display Modes
Prev Previous Post   Next Post Next
Old 10-01-2012, 03:32 PM   #1
Algae Grower
RelatedToTheFish's Avatar
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Spring, Tx
Posts: 6
Question DIY LED lighting for a 55gal long planted Tang tank

Hi. I'm new to the hobby and I have decided to try my hand at LED lighting. I have a standard 55gal long Tanganyika Cichlid community tank. It's planted with Val and Lotus at the moment, I was considering adding some Java fern as well to some of the holey rock in the tank. It's currently lit by two 8 watt 12" fluorescent bulbs. It's nice, but I'm a nerd. I want full control over the lighting, color and brightness.

There is so much wonderful information here on LED builds. I'm currently reading through, but as I get closer to deciding on supplies I thought I'd ask for opinions.

Right now I'm gravitating towards cheap (component-wise) and heavily DIY.

LEDs: Chinese "Bridgelux" 3W
Heatsink: 2"x4"x12" Rectangular 6063AL Tubing
Fans: 50mm Case fans side mounted into the Tubing
Drivers: CAT4101 - 1 A Constant-Current LED Driver with PWM Dimming
Power Supplies: LiteOn 24V 4A power brick (or other online auction similar brick)
Controller: Arduino Nano
Clock: DS1307 Real Time Clock Module for Arduino

White LED Mix: (6 and 6 per 24" side of tank)
14 - 18000K Cold White 3W
14 - 3500K Warm white 3W

Spectrum Filler: (one cluster of 3 per 24" side of tank)
2 - 660nm Deep Red LED 3W
2 - 400nm Violet LED 3W
2 - 500nm Turquoise LED 3W

I had an electrical engineering course back in college, but the only two things I remember from that class were "blue smoke is bad" and the lab where I wired a set of T-Bird tail lights. This project is my way back in and I'm not afraid to spend some quality time at a soldering station to do it.

That said, I'm having trouble figuring out the best way to power my LEDs. I have mismatched counts and voltages (for red) and most of the DIY help is aimed at matched sets of LEDs. Add to that I want each color to be addressable individually. That is five channels with three different sets of parameters. Also I want to make sure they are powered at about 70% for longevity, which means a current of around 500mA. It look like that is not common for any commercial LED drivers or power sources. So where should I start?


This may be a case of "you get what you pay for" but usually I find starting cheap a good learning experience. Still, if anything I picked is going to just make this a nightmare, I'd rather learn than crash and burn.

I'm open to component changes, recommended reading, constructive criticism, or any other ideas you may have. Thank you for your help.
"A laurel will protect you from the poison marsh."

Last edited by RelatedToTheFish; 10-08-2012 at 03:19 PM.. Reason: more specifics
RelatedToTheFish is offline   Reply With Quote

bridgelux, cheap, diy, led

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:
Your Location. As precise as you feel comfortable with.
Security Question
While balancing on a piece of wood, two inches by four inches known as a 2x4, John and his friend Sally both spotted a dalmatian inside of a truck with sirens. The animal with John and Sally is a _ _ _?
Please select your insurance company (Optional)


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT. The time now is 12:57 PM.

Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright Planted Tank LLC 2012